Lately I have written about summer topics like the importance of electrolytes and automatic waterers. This year’s summer is shaping up to be one for the record books in many parts of the country. With heat waves gripping the nation, broken up only by heavy storms with damaging wind and flooding rains, how is a horseman supposed to keep the horses healthy, safe, and fit during all this extreme weather? Here are five tips to keep your horses happy during as we head towards the dog days of summer.
1. Water for everyone: Water in buckets, water […]
Polo wraps are one of the oldest forms of support and protection for a working horse’s legs. When done up properly, their uniform look and striking color contrast with the horse’s coat color is very appealing. A horse with good polo wraps looks workmanlike, and if you’ve ever worked with a trainer who believes perfect groom equals success, you probably appreciate the distinction.
They’re not easy to master, however, and that’s important, because improper polo wraps can do far more harm than good. Let’s take a look at polo wraps and how they should […]
With the Fourth of July upon us, it’s officially fireworks season in the United States. Are you prepared for the potential effects of fireworks near your farm? Fireworks can be hazards in a multitude of ways, whether it’s the physical debris or the loud noise. Here are some tips to assess your fireworks preparedness level.
1. Know your neighbors. It can be difficult to keep up with neighbors in rural areas, especially if you’re on large properties. If you aren’t sure who lives next door, you might want to think creatively to introduce yourself […]
Horse treats aren’t just rewards for a job well done. A horse treat can add refreshment and entertainment to your horse’s life, encouraging natural behaviors even if their stall-bound life doesn’t exactly resemble the open grasslands horses are designed to inhabit. Horses are foragers by nature, picking out the good from the bad while grazing, so offering them treats that require a little more work than a pile of hay is a great way to enrich their lives.
You can buy plenty of stall toys that work by hiding treats. Doctors Foster and Smith offer a […]
Electrolytes: a simple supplement which can cause impassioned arguments in the equestrian world. Feed commercial electrolytes in feed — no, put it in the water! — but electrolytes are to make horses drink more water! — just put salt in their feed — they only need mineral blocks…. And so on.
Here’s the most simple definition of what electrolytes do: electrolytes keep a horse’s cells operational and hydrated. When a horse’s electrolyte levels are off, their cells stop operating properly, water isn’t carried to the cells which need it most, and metabolic problems result — conditions like tying up, which we […]
Carrying heavy water buckets is probably one of the least pleasant aspects of daily barn life. Stall cleaning can be meditative, sweeping the aisle can be relaxing, but lifting buckets, dumping them, scrubbing them out, and carrying them, full of water and splashing on your legs, is never fun.
Thinking of dumping buckets and going with an automatic waterer in your horse’s stall or paddock? Let’s look at some pros and cons and decide if automatic waterers are right for you and your horses.
The first obvious pro is eliminating dragging around a hose or carrying back-breaking […]
They’re a delight in the calendar photograph: a wide-eyed foal gazing at the camera, a golden bed of buttercups peeking through the green grass at his hooves. But buttercups and horses don’t go together at all. In fact, these beautiful flowers grow from toxic stems. Like quite a few other wildflower species which flourish in natural grasslands (and overgrazed pastures), buttercups are poisonous to horses.
Buttercups (also called bachelor’s buttons or butter daisies), are not typically eaten by a well-fed horse. They just don’t taste very nice. But buttercups tend to grow in overgrazed […]
A while ago I wrote about the need to have a disaster plan, http://equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/equine-disaster-plans.htm, recent historic flooding has reached the equestrian community, threatening the lives of hundreds of horses. Do your horses live in a flood plain? Even if the farm isn’t in an area commonly threatened by floodwaters, you might be surprised by the answer.
And even if the flood threat seems distant, consider this: extreme weather events in North America are on the rise, and urban construction only increases the risk of flooding. Rainwater which would have been absorbed […]